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Brown-winged Kingfisher Pelargopsis amauroptera
BirdLife is updating this factsheet for the 2016 Red List
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Despite this species's large range, its total population size is probably moderately small as a result of the restricted nature of its preferred mangrove habitats. It is likely to be in moderately rapid decline as a result of habitat destruction, and is therefore considered Near Threatened.

Taxonomic source(s)
del Hoyo, J.; Collar, N. J.; Christie, D. A.; Elliott, A.; Fishpool, L. D. C. 2014. HBW and BirdLife International Illustrated Checklist of the Birds of the World. Barcelona, Spain and Cambridge UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International.

Taxonomic note
Gender agreement of species name follows David and Gosselin (2002a).

Pelargopsis amauropterus Sibley and Monroe (1990, 1993), Pelargopsis amauropterus BirdLife International (2000), Pelargopsis amauropterus Collar et al. (1994)

Distribution and population
Pelargopsis amauropterus has a coastal distribution in north-east India (locally common in West Bengal, rare elsewhere), Bangladesh (locally common), Myanmar (fairly common to locally common resident in the south-west and Tenasserim), peninsular Thailand (uncommon to locally fairly common on the west coast) and peninsular Malaysia (fairly common but restricted to islands of the north-west) (BirdLife International 2001). Despite being locally common, its total population may not be very large within this highly linear distribution, as it is largely limited to areas of mangrove, creeks and tidal rivers.

Population justification
There is no data available on population size, although it is possibly not very large; the species is considered rare to fairly common across its range.

Trend justification
A moderately rapid and on-going population decline is suspected to be occurring as a result of the continuing destruction and degradation of mangrove forests throughout the species's range.

It is usually restricted to coasts, favouring mangroves (particularly dense, old growth forests with large trees [BirdLife International 2001, A. K. Nayak in litt. 2008]), but also frequenting creeks and tidal rivers, although it has been recorded occasionally far inland.

This species is likely to be negatively affected by the on-going clearance and degradation of mangroves in South-East Asia.

Conservation Actions Underway
No targeted conservation actions are known for this species.

Conservation Actions Proposed
Conduct repeated surveys throughout the range to determine rates of population decline and range contraction. Campaign for the protection of remaining mature mangrove forest.

BirdLife International. 2001. Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book. BirdLife International, Cambridge, U.K.

del Hoyo, J.; Elliott, A.; Sargatal, J. 2001. Handbook of the Birds of the World, vol. 6: Mousebirds to Hornbills. Lynx Edicions, Barcelona, Spain.

Further web sources of information
Detailed species accounts from the Threatened birds of Asia: the BirdLife International Red Data Book (BirdLife International 2001).

Explore HBW Alive for further information on this species

Search for photos and videos, and hear sounds of this species from the Internet Bird Collection

Text account compilers
Benstead, P., Gilroy, J., Taylor, J.

IUCN Red List evaluators
Butchart, S., Symes, A.

Recommended citation
BirdLife International (2016) Species factsheet: Pelargopsis amauroptera. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016. Recommended citation for factsheets for more than one species: BirdLife International (2016) IUCN Red List for birds. Downloaded from on 28/10/2016.

This information is based upon, and updates, the information published in BirdLife International (2000) Threatened birds of the world. Barcelona and Cambridge, UK: Lynx Edicions and BirdLife International, BirdLife International (2004) Threatened birds of the world 2004 CD-ROM and BirdLife International (2008) Threatened birds of the world 2008 CD-ROM. These sources provide the information for species accounts for the birds on the IUCN Red List.

To provide new information to update this factsheet or to correct any errors, please email BirdLife

To contribute to discussions on the evaluation of the IUCN Red List status of Globally Threatened Birds, please visit BirdLife's Globally Threatened Bird Forums.

Additional resources for this species

ARKive species - Brown-winged kingfisher (Pelargopsis amauroptera) 0

Key facts
Current IUCN Red List category Near Threatened
Family Alcedinidae (Kingfishers)
Species name author (Pearson, 1841)
Population size Unknown mature individuals
Population trend Decreasing
Distribution size (breeding/resident) 126,000 km2
Country endemic? No
Links to further information
- Additional Information on this species